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East Baltimore Community Forum on Sickle Cell Disease


panelist_reduced.jpgDate:  Wednesday, November 17th 
Time:  5:30-9:00 p.m.

Location:  East Baltimore Campus: Cancer Research Building Albert Owen Auditorium - 1551 E. Jefferson St. Baltimore, MD 21231

Details:  On November 17th, 2010 the Office of Diversity and Cultural Competence and the School of Medicine Diversity Council commemorated the 100th year anniversary of the discovery of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).  

SCD is one of the most common genetic conditions in the world, and it is the most common genetic condition affecting African-Americans in the United States.  Despite advances in the research and treatment of SCD, the experiences of the individuals and families affected by this painful condition are often unknown.  This forum featured Dr. Michael R. DeBaun, Director of Vanderbilt & Meharry Center of Excellence for Sickle Cell Disease and Professor of Pediatrics and  Medicine Vice Chair of Clinical Research, Pediatrics Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Dialogue helped to reveal medical research related to the treatment of SCD.  Moderator Dr. Karen Proudford led a discussion that helped to highlight the importance of community participation in efforts to obtain resources needed to improve the lives of the individuals and families affected by this devastating disease.  Over 100 individuals attended the forum, including patients and family members, community advocates, and researchers. 

Panelist included: 

Dr. Carlton Haywood, Researcher/Patient, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Core Faculty in Bioethics at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.

Delegate Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, Advocate/Baltimore 10th District was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates on November 8, 1994 and reelected in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010, serving 16 years. By profession, Delegate Nathan-Pulliam is a Registered Nurse with years of experience as a quality assurance coordinator, head nurse and team leader at hospitals in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Derek and Shantá Robertson, Parents of Pre-Adolescents are the proud parents of three sons ages 22, 12 and 11.  The two younger boys have sickle beta thalasemmia.  In 2006, Derek and Shantá formed the Maryland Sickle Cell Disease Association (MSCDA) as a 501(c)3  non profit corporation.  MSCDA’s mission is to improve the quality of life for those affected by sickle cell disease by promoting advocacy, education, research and excellent healthcare delivery.


Dr. Karen Proudford, President of the William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund, a non-profit corporation dedicated to increasing awareness about sickle cell disease in all its forms, providing education about the disease and bringing hope to those who suffer from its devastating effects.   Additionally, Dr. Proudford is an Associate Professor of Management at the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management, Morgan State University, where she teaches courses in organizational behavior and heads the undergraduate honors program.


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